We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What are the Different Types of Desert Lizard?

Jessica Ellis
Updated Jun 04, 2024
Our promise to you
All Things Nature is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At All Things Nature, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Lizards are a fascinating family of reptiles that make their homes in widely varying ecosystems around the globe. Desert lizards occupy some of the harshest regions on earth, nonetheless thriving in lands with pitiless sun and few food sources. There are many different kinds of desert lizards, each with their own special ways of surviving amid the sun and sand.

The Gila monster is a hearty breed of desert lizard, known as one of only two venomous species in the world. Occupying the vast deserts of Mexico and the western United States, the Gila grows to an impressive 2 ft (.6 m) in length and is recognizable for its brilliant mottled and banded coloring. Like many lizards, the Gila monster tends to burrow or hide during the day to avoid the worst of the sun. At night, this formidable predator hunts rodents, birds, and smaller lizards. Its venom-filled bite, though dangerous to small creatures, is not usually fatal for humans.

Across the world, the Egyptian spiny-tailed desert lizard can grow even larger than the North American Gila monster, and displays some fascinating features. Some have been known to live over 30 years, thriving in the deserts of Egypt and the Middle East. This species of spiny-tailed desert lizard is known for its mating dance, which consists of a vibrating head jiggle meant to attract mates.

Australia, a continent known for its bizarre and flourishing wildlife, provides numerous examples of unusual desert lizards. Most prominent are the many species of goanna, or monitor lizard, that roam the vast outback of this desert-filled continent. The largest species of desert lizard in Australia can grow to over 6 ft (2 m) in length, and many types of goanna possess the unique ability of being able to rear up and even run on their back legs.

Australia is also home to what may be the most striking type of desert lizard: the unusual Australian thorny devil. This small creature is so covered in spikes, it resembles a weapon. Thorny devils are only a few inches long, and rely on their spikes and camouflage abilities to protect them from predators. They have a unique hydration system, using the small channels and cracks in their body to absorb water through capillary action. This means that even scarce dew drops can be sucked into the lizard's body to provide hydration.

In Africa's Sahara desert, the spiny tailed lizard may look more dangerous than it actually is. One of the many varieties of desert lizards in this area, the spiny tailed lizard features an armored tail covered in rows of spikes and spines, probably to discourage predators from taking a bite. Unlike many lizards, the spin-tailed varieties are primarily herbivores, though some will occasionally eat insects as well.

All Things Nature is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Jessica Ellis
By Jessica Ellis
With a B.A. in theater from UCLA and a graduate degree in screenwriting from the American Film Institute, Jessica Ellis brings a unique perspective to her work as a writer for All Things Nature. While passionate about drama and film, Jessica enjoys learning and writing about a wide range of topics, creating content that is both informative and engaging for readers.
Discussion Comments
Jessica Ellis
Jessica Ellis
With a B.A. in theater from UCLA and a graduate degree in screenwriting from the American Film Institute, Jessica Ellis...
Learn more
All Things Nature, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

All Things Nature, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.